Young trader works hard to support siblings
A young trader from Kuala Terengganu is not just an elder brother but also a “father” and “mother” to his five siblings since their parents died of cancer.
The 21-year-old trader Wan Bilal Wan Lokman sells ikan and kerang bakar at a stall outside their house in Kampung Bukit Tunggal to support his five siblings.
A promise he intends to keep
His father Wan Lokman Wan Abas passed away from colon cancer several years ago and his mother Laila Harun fell victim to bone cancer two years ago.
Wan Bilal said that his mother had made him promise to take care of his younger siblings before she passed away.
“On her deathbed, she put her faith in me, so I must not let her down. Sending my brothers and sister to foster homes was never a choice,” he said.
The responsibility falls on him
Instead of pursuing a higher education after scoring decent grades in his SPM four years ago, Wan Bilal, the third of eight siblings, chose to start up the store.
“My eldest sister is married with her own family and can only afford to help us out a little. My older brother is working elsewhere. It comes down to me to cover the expenses of my younger siblings,” said Wan Bilal.
A hard life
“The money I make every night is barely enough, but thankfully, we survive so far,” he said.
The 21-year-old starts his day at 6.30am to send his brother to school and go to the market for his supplies.
“I would start selling from about 5pm until midnight,” he said.
“It’s a tiring life but my siblings need me.”
Hard work paid off
“I am so proud of him,” he said. “All I told him to do was study hard and leave the other problems to me. His success gives me encouragement to work harder.
“My other brother Wan Muhammad Ilyas is pursuing a degree in Biometric Science in Universiti Malaya while two other siblings are in a boarding school. A sister is studying at SM Institut Al-Quran.
“Seeing their success is more than enough for me,” he said.
“I never ask them for anything except to do well in their studies.”
Help has arrived
Wan Bilal’s struggles who have touched many concerned members of the public have gained the attention of the Budimas Charitable Foundation.
The foundation’s principal officer Anne Rajasaikaran said that the foundation is determined to help as soon as possible.
“The foundation's main aim is to assist underprivileged children. We want to assist Wan Muhammad, especially when he obtained 5As in the recent Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) despite all the hardship,” she said.
The foundation who is currently supporting 13 orphanages would donate about RM5,000 for Wan Muhammad before they visit him in Kuala Terengganu next month.
“We will assist him financially first and see later how we can help him further,” said Rajasaikaran.